DSC_0004-1 Tore this stamp off of a Christmas card that arrived last week.  Originally, I intended to put it into my Christmas journal, but I was struck by the contrast it presented.   I left it out on my desk because leaving it within daily eyesight is a reminder that in a season full of paradox & contrast, I often need perspective.

The Holiday season is permeated with contradictions like:

* Time off from school and work {“down time” that is full of agendas & activity}

* The darkness of missing my Daddy when there are lights everywhere {Reminiscent of the bright and sunny day that he died…}

* Deep sadness & loneliness {often occurring in the midst of parties and crowds}

* Kermit with a Santa Hat  {next to Madonna & Child}

Contrast in art and writing is a wonderful definer.  Lights become more clear next to deep darks.   Characters reveal themselves more fully when they have a counterpart and complementary colors are brighter next to each other.

Like Commercialism in close proximity to Contemplation on a Christmas card.

As much as I love the Christmas season, I struggle every year to not step into performance and busyness over gift-giving, decorating & beautiful food.  If I don’t consciously slow down and orient to our family’s year-round values of faith, peace & giving, I’ll be caught up in responding to the blinking lights and advertisements that say I need more.

I think too, that Kermit & Mary are a visual for the societal press to make Christmas less Madonna-and-Child and more Kermit-in-a-Santa-hat.  {I suppose Kermit is easier to live with than the man that Baby Jesus would eventually become… yet more paradox.}  And then there’s the part where living out a life of love & peace is often wrapped in discomfort, martyrdom and difficult decisions.

My prayer for the season is that as we spend time behind the scenes with late nights and long lists so that home will look, feel and smell peaceful, that we create peace in a peaceful way.